How About Them Patriots, eh?

The Pats have just had two straight wins over quality opponents. They are at 3-1 already. Not too shabby.

Brady is looking good. The first game he looked bad, the second game he looked mediocre, now he looks good. Not fantastic, but good. Balls are starting to hit receivers in stride again, Wes Welker is bailing him out again – there’s a lot of reason to think we’re heading nowhere but up.

I am not too impressed by our secondary. For all the effort put into it, it looks about the same as always.

Time to Start Teaching Civics in Business School

In recent years, it has become fashionable for venture capitalists, big shot attorneys and corporate executives to run for public office after having conquered the business world. Consider it a midlife crisis of sorts. For most people, buying a Corvette or going to an Eagles reunion concert and maybe even smoking a joint or two will suffice. But what if you’re worth a cool half billion? Then it’s off to Washington or the nearest available Governors office. So here’s a helpful hint to would-be candidates for public office emerging from world of stocks and bonds, leather couches and initialized cufflinks: before asking us to vote for you, try actually voting yourself.

Take Boston Celtics co-owner and former venture capitalist Steve Pagliuca, current candidate for the United States Senate in the race to replace Senator Edward Kennedy. Actually, take him to the polls please, because he doesn’t seem to be able to get there on his own. Not exactly a profile in courage, Pagliuca, who is worth an estimated $400 million, recently discovered a deep and long standing commitment to public service at age 54. Among other attributes, his website touts his “civic leadership.” Apparently that does not include leading by example, because The Boston Globe reports that Pagliuca’s dedication to civic engagement has been a tad shaky at times.

During a five-year period at the end of the 1990s, he voted only once and, since 1995, has not cast a ballot in any of four presidential primaries or a combined nine local elections in Weston, where he resides, or in Newton, his home until 2000,” the Globe reports.

Somehow, ammassing a fortune large enough to own most of a major sports franchise is an acheivable feat, but getting to the polls between 7AM and 8PM seems to be too mighty a challenge for this dedicated public servant.

Out in California, another civic hero named Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay and candidate for Governor has also demonstrated a rather spotty interest in voting. I have to give Whitman credit for one thing: she has an incredible commitment to consistency. The Associated Press reports that Whitman, 52, failed to vote in every single election for 28 consecutive years. It gets worse. Somehow Whitman was unable to muster up the energy to even register to vote until she was 46.

Whitman says she was focused on her career, “Raising a family…and we moved many, many times.” (For the record, in 10 years of eligible voting, I have at virtually every moment held at least one full time job, and for 4 of those years was a full time student at the same time. I have also moved 13 times. In that time period, I have cast a ballot 15 times, and door to door the entire process has never taken more than 25 minutes.)

Former T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan has a track record as a successful businessman, but if you live in Seattle, he’s asking you do something he has rarely done himself: vote for Mayor. Mallahan is seeking the top municipal job in the city, but The Seattle Times reports that he has skipped more than half of the elections since 2001, including two mayoral primaries.

Ronald Reagan once said that some people run for office to do something, and some people run to be something. Pagliuca, Whitman, Mallahan et al could hardly make it clearer which category they fall into. If you really care about making a difference in peoples lives, start by blocking out half an hour or so in your day once or twice a year to actually show up and vote. Because when you’re completely full of shit about your commitment to public service, people can usually tell. After all, there’s a reason the Presidency came down to Barack Obama and John McCain, not John Edwards and Mitt Romney.

Links o’ Interest

Drive-thru villainy. Odd that his name is so close to Robert Mugabe.

Inmate escapes by dressing as lawyer

The miracle of conception. Truly incredible.

The Kanye meme wins again

The streaker scores

Very cool CSI opening

100 Greatest Hits of YouTube

The vacation stress graph

The money you could be saving

That’s a real thinker.

I don’t think she knows what that word means

10 sports top-10 lists

What flavor could this be?

I think the message is, don’t wear your hat backwards

Thank you for calling Air Health Care, the airline that works like the health care system…”

More about that marshmallow test from the last links, on why it really is an important experiment.

“The good old days”: Life at a startup, Mozilla

Mature thoughts on getting old

A Truly Shocking Guantanamo Story: Judge Confirms That an Innocent Man Was Tortured to Make False Confessions

Poker Update

We all thought that last weeks game took too long, so we eliminated three of the blinds levels. This moved things along pretty quick. It was the kind of night I like. I didn’t get any lucky draws, and I didn’t get any bad beats. That’s not to say there was no luck, but that every time there was a big hand, it was decided by what the players had before the money was committed. There was only one case where I made the right decision but got screwed by the cards, or made the wrong decision and got bailed out.

Notable hands:

  • I have K-2 as the dealer, everyone has folded. I raise to 300, hoping to steal the blinds. The small blind folds, but the big blind calls me. The flop is A-10-10. He checks. I throw in another 400, which he calls. The turn is a blank, we both check. Now that I’ve shown weakness, he bets on the river.
    I don’t think he has an ace. I don’t think he has a 10. This guy knows me, and knows I like to pick up cheap blinds from late position. I think he’s sick of me and he’s pushing back. And the bet of 400 is weird. When he has a winning hand he is never shy about putting in a big bet. 400 into a 1500 pot? I have to call. He turns over K-8. Neither of our kickers play and we chop the pot. I think both of us played that hand well.
  • I have K-K. I go over the top on a big raise pre-flop, I’m all in. He calls with A-10. He gets the Ace. Garghdarnit! That was my bad beat of the night. (He had a lot less than me, so I wasn’t knocked out.)
  • At 150-300 (and 25 antes) I have A-K. There are two callers before me, I raise it to 1,000. Surprisingly I get four callers. I thought my raises demanded a little more respect. The flop is A-x-x. Check, check, I go all in. Why not? The pot has ~5,000 in it, I’ve only got a few thousand more, it’s an easy decision. Yet, they all think about it, they all speculate what I have, he didn’t pick up the Aces did he, like I am some kind of crazy guy. The last person wanted to pay me to see my cards (I told him he could pay me by calling). They all folded, and I was back to average stack again.
  • Down to 7 players. At 200-400 (50 ante), I have A-6 in medium position. I raise it 1,300 on a semi-bluff. I am raised to all-in. Gosh darn it. I know this guy, and he picks up a lot of pots going over the top. I know he is bluffing many times. Nyargh, I can’t call, he got me. I fold.
  • The very next hand, I have A-6 of clubs. I put in the same 1,300. And the same guy goes in, but this time he just calls me. The flop is three clubs, I have the nut flush. Naturally I check. He does too. I check the turn. Just as I’d hoped, he makes a stab and bets 3,100. I think about it and go all in, only another 2700. But my acting is terrible. I knew it as soon as I did it, it was so far over the top with the “Why am I doing this!? I don’t want to do this!” body language that he folded instantly. Also, he probably had bupkis, that may have been a factor also. I think I could have gotten some more money out of him though, I didn’t get full value for my hand.
  • Down to five players. I have 10-9 suited – what the heck, I limp in. The flop is 10-10-x. I check. The short stack moves all in and I call him. His pocket 5s don’t hold up against my set. In fact, another 10 comes up on the river, so I should say – his full house 10s over 5s don’t hold up against my four of a kind!
  • Down to the final three. I get K-K. Play the guy like a fiddle to get him all-in, knock him out.
  • I start heads up with a 4-1 advantage. The very first hand I have 10-6 and limp in. The flop is A-8-3. I check, he does also. The turn is a 7. What the hell, I throw in another 2,000. He only 6K or so, so I’m thinking even if he suspects I’m full of it he can’t call me. I’m wrong, he calls me. The turn is a 9. I am about to check when I realize I backed into a straight. Hey, how about that, I got a straight! I get him all in and knock him out. Yay!

I like nights without bad beats. It’s easier to figure out if you’re playing well or not because you can separate decisions from outcomes.

Tonight’s Total: $90